PowerCLI – Automate adding NFS Datastores to a cluster of ESX or ESXi hosts

 

The other day I needed to add three NFS datastores to a bunch vSphere ESX hosts in a specific cluster. Rather than go through each host in vCenter individually, adding the datastore using the Add Storage wizard, I thought I would script the process in PowerCLI and get it done in a more automated fashion. Using PowerCLI automation, this helped me save some time. I had about 7 ESX hosts to add the Datastores to, so doing this manually would have taken twice the time it took me to whip up this script and run it. Plus, this can be used in the future for other Datastores or other clusters by simply modifying the script and re-running it.

 

Here is the script:

 

# PowerCLI script to add NFS datastores to ESX/ESXi hosts in a specified Cluster
# Only does this to hosts marked as "Connected"
$hostsincluster = Get-Cluster "Cluster 1 - M" | Get-VMHost -State "Connected"
ForEach ($vmhost in $hostsincluster)
{
    ""
    "Adding NFS Datastores to ESX host: $vmhost"
    "-----------------"
    "1st - MER001 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (Veeam Backups)"
    New-Datastore -VMHost $vmhost -Name "MER001 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (Veeam Backups)" -Nfs -NfsHost 10.1.35.1 -Path /share/VeeamBackup01
    "2nd - MER002 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (ISOs)"
    New-Datastore -VMHost $vmhost -Name "MER002 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (ISOs)" -Nfs -NfsHost 10.1.35.1 -Path /share/Images01
    "3rd - MER003 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (XenStore01)"
    New-Datastore -VMHost $vmhost -Name "MER003 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (XenStore01)" -Nfs -NfsHost 10.1.35.1 -Path /share/XenStore01
}
"All Done. Check to ensure no errors were reported above."

 

So the script above looks for ESX or ESXi hosts in a specified cluster that are in a “Connected” state – i.e. they are not disconnected in vCenter (we wouldn’t want to try add Datastores to hosts that don’t exist!). So we use the Get-Cluster cmdlet to say we are only concerned with hosts in this particular cluster (specified by the “Cluster 1 – M” name in my case. Obviously change this to the name of your cluster you will be working with.) We then use Get-VMHost -State “Connected” to list all of the hosts in this cluster that are in a connected state. In my example I had 2 x ESX hosts that were in a disconnected state, and I didn’t want to include these, so this part worked nicely. This list of hosts in then assigned to the $hostsincluster variable. We then use the ForEach loop to iterate through each host in this list of hosts and do the bit in-between the curly brackets for each host.

 

In my case you may notice that I am adding Datastores from the same NFS (NAS) server. They are just being mounted to different paths on the server and being given different names. I had three Datastores to add, so therefore use the New-Datastore cmlet three times for each host. You will need to adjust this to your needs – maybe you just need to add one datastore to each host, therefore remove the two extra New-Datastore cmdlet parts. Also remember to adjust the -NfsHost and -Path sections to suit your own environment.

 

We could improve on the above script by making it more customisable for future / others to use. Lets give that a quick go then and use variables to define everything at the top of the script. This means that the variables can be changed at the top of script without worrying too much about reading through the whole script to check for things to change. We’ll also add a Connect-VIServer cmdlet in there in case you have not already connected to your vCenter server and authenticated in your PowerCLI session that is running the script.

 

# PowerCLI script to add NFS datastores to ESX/ESXi hosts in a specified Cluster
# Only does this to hosts marked as "Connected"

# Define our settings
$vcserver = "vcenter01"
$clustername = "Cluster 1 - M"
$nfshost = "10.1.35.1"
$nfspath1 = "/share/VeeamBackup01"
$nfspath2 = "/share/Images01"
$nfspath3 = "/share/XenStore01"

# Connect to vCenter server
Connect-VIServer $vcserver

# Do the work
$hostsincluster = Get-Cluster $clustername | Get-VMHost -State "Connected"
ForEach ($vmhost in $hostsincluster)
{
    ""
    "Adding NFS Datastores to ESX host: $vmhost"
    "-----------------"
    "1st - MER001 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (Veeam Backups)"
    New-Datastore -VMHost $vmhost -Name "MER001 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (Veeam Backups)" -Nfs -NfsHost $nfshost -Path $nfspath1
    "2nd - MER002 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (ISOs)"
    New-Datastore -VMHost $vmhost -Name "MER002 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (ISOs)" -Nfs -NfsHost $nfshost -Path $nfspath2
    "3rd - MER003 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (XenStore01)"
    New-Datastore -VMHost $vmhost -Name "MER003 - NAS-SATA-RAID6 (XenStore01)" -Nfs -NfsHost $nfshost -Path $nfspath3
}
"All Done. Check to ensure no errors were reported above."

So as you can see we have now defined the name of the cluster, our NAS/NFS server and three paths to different NFS shares at the top of the script, then just referenced these variables later on in the script. This means we can now easily adjust the defined variables at the top of our script in the future to work with different clusters, NAS/NFS servers or paths. The output of your final script when run should give you a nice view of what has happened too. It will output that it is adding NFS Datastores to each host it iterates through, and if it comes across any errors those should be marked in red as PowerShell / PowerCLI normally would do, allowing you to amend or update any details as necessary. PS, don’t forget to change the name of each Datastore in the script to something of your own choice (it is the part after the -Name parameter in each New-Datastore line).

 

Here is the download for the full script (with latest improvements):

[download id=”5″]

 

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